Shelef Lookout – Dotan Valley

Shelef Lookout – Dotan Valley

Dotan Valley is in northwestern Shomron and is the largest valley in the Shomron Mountains region. The valley is 10 kilometers long and 3 kilometers wide, and is almost completely surrounded by mountains. This valley is strategically important because of its relatively high elevation, overlooking the Lower Galilee, the Jezreel Valley and the Ta’anakh region.

Mountain ridges separate Dotan Valley from Jezreel Valley, where the city of Jenin is located. Dotan Valley is used mainly for agriculture, and has many tobacco fields. The valley is part of the Palestinian Authority and has many Arab villages, including Kabatiya, Yabad, Burqin and Arraba, with the Jewish communities of Mevo Dotan and Hermesh on the slopes of the southwestern ridge. In the center of the valley are the ruins of the ancient village of Tel Dotan. The main highway from Jenin to Shekhem (Nablus) goes through the valley.

Shelef Observation Deck was built in memory of Omer Shelef. Omer, an only son, was killed in 1999 while trekking abroad, and two years later his father Zvika was killed in a terror attack.

This scenic lookout, which offers a spectacular view of the entire Dotan Valley, is on Ma’oz Tsvi Farm, a beautiful tourism site in its own right.

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